I doubt I’ll be maintaining this site much longer so it could disappear at any time.

I am maintaining a blog at and any projects I do will be posted there in the future.

ASUS Eee Car Charger

Building a 12v car charger for the ASUS Eee

The ASUS Eee is a fantastic ultra-portable notebook with almost everything required for geeks (and nothing that isn’t). Plus it features fantastic build quality and is very well priced. If you live in New Zealand you can get them from DSE; at the time of writing they are the exclusive supplier. I worked out it’s the same cost as importing one once you include all the duties and tax, plus you get the advantage of a proper NZ-style mains charger.

Anyway, being so small I thought it would be nice to be able to carry this around in the car. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a car charger available anywhere at the time so I decided to tackle the problem myself. As a bonus this provides an opportunity for an external high-capacity battery. Read the rest of this entry »

Atheros Drivers

If you are after Atheros drivers for Windows you can download them here. These drivers work for almost any card using the following Atheros chipsets:

AR5001X, AR5002X, AR5002G, AR5004X, AR5004G, AR5004A , AR5005G, AR5005GS, AR5006X, AR5006XS, AR5006EXS, AR5006EX, AR5006EGS, AR5006EG, AR5006GS, AR5006GS, AR5006G, AR5006, A5007G, AR5007EG.

Version - Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP driver and wireless utility (WHQL)

Version - Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP driver only download (WHQL)

Version - Windows Vista 32/64bit

For Atheros 802.11n chipsets (AR5008 ‘XSPAN’)

Version - Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP (WHQL) driver and utility

For open-source Linux drivers visit the MadWifi project site.

Stripboard Magic

Stripboard Magic is a Windows application for designing PCB layouts on stripboard (aka prototyping board). It was released by a British company called Ambyr which ceased trading a long time ago.

The interface is a quite primitive and a little strange but the program is functional even on Windows XP. It also works great under wine in Linux, at least with version 0.9.38 and above as this is all I have checked. It should probably work on older versions too. I haven’t tried it on Vista though.

Read the rest of this entry »

Running Linux on a WYSE Winterm 3200LE

I recently acquired a free WYSE Winterm 3200LE. This neat little device is designed as a dedicated client for Windows Terminal Services (RDP) and Citrix ICA. The concept behind them is for businesses to run all of their applications on a central group of servers and have users log remotely onto a desktop session on these servers to access their applications and data.

The advantages with this type of set-up are centralised management and reduced hardware cost as users only need a small, inexpensive client device called a thin terminal instead of a fully functional desktop computer. There are also some drawbacks to such a set-up but we are starting to head outside the scope of this article.

WYSE are a major manufacturer of such thin terminals and have been for some time. The Winterm 3200LE is somewhat old now, sporting a the following hardware:

  • National Semiconductor Geode GX1 233MHz CPU
  • 16MB SDRAM (upgradable to 64MB by replacing the SODIMM)
  • National DP83815 ‘MacPHYTER’ 10/100Mbps NIC
  • 8MB onboard NAND flash
  • Cyrix 5530 ‘Kahlua’ AC’97 audio
  • 2 USB ports

The GX1 CPU is considered a low power equivalent to a Pentium MMX.

If you are lucky you should be able to pick a surplus Winterm up virtually free from IT vendors or big companies upgrading their equipment. They also often appear cheap on Trade Me and eBay. Even better are the HP/Compaq t5000-series terminals as they are an entirely standard x86 platform (not just based on one therefore no hacking required; just load up your favourite distro) and much faster than their Winterm counterparts.

Although slow by modern standards the 3200LE is very small, based on the standard x86 architecture and draws less than 15W of power making it ideal as an experimental embedded platform. The device comes preloaded with Windows CE 2.1 which is very limited in functionality if you intend to do anything other than run Windows remote desktop sessions in 256 colours. Getting Linux running on this device will render it much more useful and is quite easy to perform with a little hacking, so read on…
Read the rest of this entry »